Research Team

NegarNegar Babaei Omali, PhD, BOptom
Laboratory Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.37009
Email: nbabaeiomali@uwaterloo.ca

Negar graduated from the School of Optometry at the Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Iran in 2004. She then worked in her private practice and at eye hospitals for five years, during which time she interacted with the ophthalmologists in hospitals, and observed patients suffering from microbial keratitis and other contact lens-related adverse events. Negar undertook her PhD under the supervision of Professor Mark Willcox at the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the School of Optometry & Vision Science at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. In 2012, she was awarded a doctorate for her thesis entitled “Determination of tear deposition and its effect on bacterial adhesion to contact lenses.” Negar is the recipient of William C. Ezell Fellowship for 2012-2013. She was a research fellow at the Brien Holden Vision Institute working on meibomian gland dysfunction for one year prior to coming to CCLR. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Centre for Contact Lens Research with her research interests focusing on the identification of protein or lipid biomarkers affecting contact lens comfort.

» See Publications


Jaya Dantam, BOptom, PhD
Laboratory Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.36590
Email: jaya.dantam@uwaterloo.ca

Jaya graduated from the Bausch & Lomb School of
Optometry in Hyderabad, India in 2006 and thereafter worked as a staff optometrist in the Cornea and Contact Lens Department at the L.V.Prasad Eye Institute. In 2008, she moved to Australia to pursue a PhD under the supervision of Professor Fiona Stapleton and Dr. Hua Zhu from the Brien Holden Vision Institute and the School of Optometry & Vision Science in the University of New South Wales, Sydney. She was awarded her doctorate in 2012 for her thesis entitled ‘Anti-microbial efficacy of the silver-impregnated contact lens storage cases.” She is passionate about continuing her research interests, with major focus on understanding the pathological factors involved in contact lens-related microbial keratitis, establishing the relevance of advanced techniques in studying the complexities involved in pathogenesis of microbial keratitis and the development of anti-microbial contact lenses and care products, to enhance the safety and comfort of contact lens wearers.

» See Publications


Elizabeth Drolle, PhD, BSc
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.37009
Email: edrolle@uwaterloo.ca

Liz completed her undergraduate studies in Honours Biology with a specialization in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology before pursuing a PhD at the University of Waterloo in a Nanoscale Biophysics lab under the supervision of Dr. Zoya Leonenko. Her PhD research was primarily on the role of the lipid membrane in amyloid fibril formation and toxicity. During her studies, she also collaborated with members of the CCLR, utilizing biophysical techniques to study contact lenses and meibomian gland secretions. She is currently a post-doctoral fellow with her research interests focusing on meibomian gland secretions and lipid deposition on contact lenses.

» See Publications


Daryl Enstone, MSc
Research Associate

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.37009
Email: denstone@uwaterloo.ca

Daryl has an MSc in Biology from the University of Waterloo. Before working at the CCLR, she worked as a research associate within the Department of Biology at the University of Waterloo.


Desmond Fonn, MOptom, FAAO
Founding Director

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.84892
Email: desmond.fonn@uwaterloo.ca

Desmond Fonn is Founding Director of the Centre for Contact Lens Research and Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the School of Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo. He is a graduate of the School of Optometry in Johannesburg, South Africa and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. He is the immediate past president of the International Society for Contact Lens Research and a founding member of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators, of which he served as vice president for 15 years.

» See Publications


Maud Gorbet, PhD
Associate Professor

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.32602
Email: mgorbet@uwaterloo.ca

Maud is an associate professor in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Waterloo and is cross-appointed with the School of Optometry. She also works in collaboration with the Centre for Contact Lens Research. A bio-engineer in training, she obtained her PhD in chemical engineering at the University of Toronto and worked in industry until 2007. Her research focuses on understanding cell interactions and inflammatory response with ophthalmic materials using both in vitro and ex vivo models. Part of her research program involves the development of better in vitro models and tools to assess biocompatibility.

» See Publications


Sarah Guthrie, PhD
Research Associate

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.38438
Email: sarah.guthrie@uwaterloo.ca

Sarah has a PhD in physics with a specialization in biophysics. She has worked at CCLR since 2006 and is involved in a broad range of the CCLR’s work. She conducts survey-based research projects, including practitioner and/or patient focused surveys; lab-based projects including myopia control animal models, metrology, lubricity and fluid dynamics; and multiple website projects. She also has a graduate level certification as a Clinical Research Associate and is responsible for many aspects of the CCLR’s regulatory compliance.

» See Publications


Miriam Heynen, MSc
Senior Research Associate

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 37009
Email: miriam.heynen@uwaterloo.ca

Miriam investigates ocular surface biochemistry, histology and physiology of the conjunctiva, and interaction of macromolecules with contact lenses.  Prior to coming to CCLR, she has worked in the areas of enzyme kinetics, protein and cell thermodynamics, muscle physiology and cancer therapy research.

» See Publications


Neety Kochar, OD, BSc
Clinical Associate

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.30347
Email: n2kochar@uwaterloo.ca

Neety completed her Doctor of Optometry degree from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago in 2014. She also completed her undergraduate studies in Honours Life Sciences with a specialization in Biochemistry from McMaster University in 2010 in Hamilton, Ontario. She joined the CCLR in 2015 as a Clinical Associate to pursue research interests in anterior segment pathology, including contact lens-induced dry eye and tear film irregularities. Neety also has interests in conditions affecting the retina and optic nerve such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.


Darcy Kroeker, BSc, BCSc
Systems Developer

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 31349
Email: darcy.kroeker@uwaterloo.ca

Darcy completed a BSc and a BCSc (Computer Science) at the University of Manitoba in 1992 and has been working as a software developer and systems designer since 1994, specializing in math and scientific applications.


Debbie Jones, FCOptom
Clinical Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 35934
Email: debbie.jones@uwaterloo.ca

Debbie is a clinical professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, University of Waterloo, Canada.  She is the Interim Associate Director, Academics and Research, and Head of the Pediatrics and Special Needs Clinic. Debbie graduated from City University, London, UK and is a Fellow of the British College of Optometrists holds a UK Diplomate in Contact Lens Practice and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry.

» See Publications


Doerte Luensmann, PhD, Dipl. Ing. (AO)
Clinical Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext. 37312
Email: doerte.luensmann@uwaterloo.ca

Doerte studied Ophthalmic Optics at the University of Applied Sciences in Aalen, Germany and completed her diploma thesis at the Queensland University of Technology, Australia, under the supervision of Dr. Michael Collins. She then worked for four years in practice before entering the PhD program at the University of Waterloo, under the supervision of Dr. Lyndon Jones. In her research, she studied the protein deposition profile on contact lenses and IOLs using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Doerte was a postdoctoral fellow at the CCLR for one year and stayed on as a clinical scientist.

» See Publications


David McCanna, PhD
Research Associate

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.32233
Email: djmccann@uwaterloo.ca

David is a post-doctoral fellow and adjunct professor of immunology at the University of Waterloo. Before completing his PhD in Vision Science and Biology at the University of Waterloo, he worked as a manager and research scientist at Bausch & Lomb.

» See Publications


Amir M. Moezzi, MSc, OD
Clinical Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.35021
Email: ammoezzi@uwaterloo.ca

After obtaining a BSc in optometry from Iran in 1988, Amir practised optometry, and worked as an instructor in the ophthalmic optics labs and binocular vision courses in Iran. He went on to work in the field of ophthalmic lens processing, and joined the CCLR as a graduate student in 1999, under the supervision of Desmond Fonn, investigating corneal swelling induced by contact lenses. Amir rejoined the CCLR team as a clinical scientist in 2003.

» See Publications


Alison Ng, PhD, BSc (Hons), MCOptom
Clinical Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.32694
Email: a53ng@uwaterloo.ca

Alison graduated from the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences at Cardiff University, UK in 2006 and qualified as an optometrist in 2007. She worked in private practice for three years before returning to Cardiff University to commence her PhD under the supervision of Professor Christine Purslow, Dr. Katharine Evans and Professor Rachel North. Her PhD thesis, completed in 2013, examined the effects of eye cosmetics on the ocular surface and tear film. Prior to commencing her role at the CCLR, Alison was a part-time clinical teacher at Cardiff University, focusing predominantly on contact lens teaching, and was an invited faculty member at the Vision Care Institute of Johnson & Johnson Medical, UK, teaching courses on dry eye and red eye management. Her research interests focus on the interaction of the anterior eye and ocular surface in response to the environment and external stimuli, including contact lenses and cosmetic products. She is currently a Clinical Scientist.

» See Publications


William Ngo, BSc, OD
Clinical Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.31311
Email: wngo@uwaterloo.ca

William graduated from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry and Vision Science in 2011. In addition to his work at the CCLR, he works at a private practice in Mississauga. His research interests include meibomian gland dysfunction and imaging.

» See Publications


Marc Schulze, PhD, Dipl. Ing. (AO)
Clinical Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.35020
Email: marc.schulze@uwaterloo.ca

Marc is a graduate from the University of Applied Sciences in Aalen, Germany (2000, Diploma in Ophthalmic Optics) and from the School of Optometry, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada (2010; PhD in Vision Science), where his PhD project  focused on anterior segment grading scales. Marc has gained clinical experience in private practice in Germany and held a post-doctoral research fellowship in Dr. Natalie Hutchings’ lab at the School of Optometry in Waterloo, working on progressive addition lenses. His research interests include clinical grading and anterior segment imaging.

» See Publications


Alisa Sivak, MA (Ed)
Head of Knowledge Translation

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.36805
Email: alisa.sivak@uwaterloo.ca

Alisa develops and manages the CCLR’s knowledge translation projects in addition to conducting qualitative research. She has an MA in Education from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver), as well as a teaching certificate and BA from McGill University (Montreal).

» See Publications


Luigina Sorbara, OD, MSc, FAAO
Research Consultant

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.33085
Email: gsorbara@uwaterloo.ca

Luigina completed her MSc degree in Physiological Optics in 1993 at the University of Waterloo, and currently lectures and supervises clinical and laboratory sessions at the University of Waterloo in addition to being Head of the Contact Lens Clinic. Her current research interests are in specialty (keratoconic) design contact lenses, corneal topography, fluorophotometry and clinical trials involving new lens materials, lens care and lens design systems.

» See Publications


Ulli Stahl, PhD, Dipl. Ing. (AO)
Head of Regulatory Team
Clinical Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.33478
Email: ustahl@uwaterloo.ca

Ulli graduated from the optometry program at the University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany, and completed her PhD under the supervision of Profs Fiona Stapleton and Mark Willcox at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia in 2009. Her research explored tear film and contact lens osmolality changes during lens wear and their influence on ocular comfort. After her PhD, Ulli was appointed at the School of Optometry and Vision Sciences in Sydney as a Dispensing Instructor and Project Officer, working in the areas of contact lens, dry eye and glaucoma research. In 2011, she moved to Canada to join the CCLR team as a post-doctoral fellow. Ulli’s research interest include the tear film and ocular surface changes during contact lens wear and their role in ocular discomfort, dry eye and questionnaire development.

» See Publications


Kevin vanDoorn, PhD
Post-Doctoral Fellow

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.32233
Email: kvandoorn@uwaterloo.ca

Kevin obtained his PhD in Vision Science and Biology in 2012 from the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science, specializing in comparative anatomy and physiology of the eye. His current work with the CCLR involves research on the cell biology of the eyelid margin.

» See Publications


Jalaiah Varikooty, MSc, BMed
Clinical Scientist

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.33441
Email: jpvariko@uwaterloo.ca

Jalaiah trained as an ophthalmologist in India. His research interests focus on tear film and the ocular surface. He is currently exploring various methods of measurements of ocular discomfort, attempting to bridge the gaps between qualitative and quantitative methods of measuring ocular discomfort.

» See Publications


Karen Walsh, BSc(Hons) PGDip MCOptom FIACLE
Medical Research Fellow

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.37548
Email: karen.walsh@uwaterloo.ca

Karen graduated in Optometry from Cardiff University, Wales in 1997. She subsequently worked in the UK across all forms of clinical practice, along with supervising undergraduate contact lens clinics at Aston University, Birmingham. Following seven years of working with Brian Tompkins in his independent practice that specialized in contact lenses she joined Johnson & Johnson Vision Care as a Professional Affairs Manager for the UK & Ireland in 2007. Karen has authored clinical articles and educational training programmes on both contact lenses and UV radiation; she has lectured internationally, and has taught at the VISION CARE INSTITUTE™ of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care in both Prague and the UK. She holds a post graduate diploma in Clinical Optometry from City University, London and is a Fellow of the International Association of Contact Lens Educators. She joined the CCLR in 2015 and currently holds the post of Medical Research Fellow.


Mike Yang, OD, BSc
Clinical Associate

Phone: (519) 888-4567 ext.32443
Email: mike.yang@uwaterloo.ca

Mike received his Doctor of Optometry degree from University of Waterloo School of Optometry and has an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences from Queen’s University. Mike joined CCLR in 2013 as a clinical associate and also works in a private practice as an associate optometrist. His research interest include ocular surface, contact lens and myopia control.

» See Publications